On the road the car drives very well and belies that it is a convertible even through some demanding 'B' road bends it can hold its own, especially as the GT models we were testing had lowered (15mm) sports suspension.
Ride and Handling
When you remove the roof you remove the torsional rigidity that the roof structure lends to the car. In the EOS with the steel roof down the vibration (scuttle shake) that this causes was certainly noticeable, albeit not that bad. However, the Golf Cabriolet does not really suffer from it at all. VW have reinforced the window frames and structural modifications to the underbody, side panels, cross-members and doors endow the new car with an extremely high level of torsional rigidity and we were very impressed.
On the road the car drives very well and belies that it is a convertible even through some demanding 'B' road bends it can hold its own, especially as the GT models we were testing had lowered (15mm) sports suspension, which did not really seem to compromise the ride. The steering is well balanced and the turn in is precise with very predictable safe handling.
Every time we have driven a Golf we always come away with a sense of that is how a hatchback should be. With the new Golf Cabriolet Volkswagen have definitely set the benchmark it is a great blend of all the qualities we were looking for.
Ease of Use
Getting in and out the VW Golf Cabriolet is straight forward as the two doors open very wide making access easy, even for people with limited mobility. The seating position is excellent, keeping you in line with the steering wheel.
Rear seat passengers need to be a little more nimble but the leg room is not too bad at all although there is only room for two. Both of the rear seats have Isofix child fixings which we would recommend you use over seat belt only solutions.
All round vision with the roof down is excellent but with the roof up, the hood does hamper some of the rear vision but it is not as bad as some cars and the glass rear window seemed quite big. We found that the rear ‘pillars' of the hood can make parking a little trickier than the hatchback but fortunately there are parking sensors to protect your bodywork.
The Golf Cabriolet's fabric roof is operated from a central switch underneath the armrest between the driver and front passenger seat. Opening and closing is possible while driving at speeds of up to 18 mph - the roof automatically latches and unlatches. The roof is pretty quick in operation taking around 9 seconds to open and 11 seconds to close. It does not lower right down into the boot, sitting on the top acting as boot lid. This also means unlike some convertibles that you can use all of the boot's 250 litres with the roof up or down - which compares to the EOS's 205 litres with the roof down. The only down side is that the boot aperture is small - which might mean that a large rigid suitcase may have to be changed for soft bags but this is hardly a problem.
Volkswagen Golf Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet 1.4 TSI GT|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.4 seconds|
|Top Speed||134 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||52.3 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5 Stars|
|Warranty||3 years / 60,000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 09/09/11)||£25,295|